Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized that the thing you asked your staff, teammates, or even your children to do yesterday still hasn’t been done – even when you gave them very clear instructions? It’s easy to point blame, but consider this: it could be they really didn’t hear what you thought you communicated.
We often don’t effectively reach our goals because we fail to take into account how we communicate. Studies have shown that communication is the most common thing managers do, spending 60% to 80% of their time communicating with their teams. However, stats also suggest most managers are bad communicators. In one relevant survey, 86% of managers thought they were good communicators, but only 17% of the employees surveyed said their managers did indeed communicate effectively. Another survey uncovered that only 14% of people rated their managers as “good” or “very good” communicators.
Even if you’re not a manager, realizing the importance of good communication is still your responsibility. The hours wasted on projects that have to be redone because of the lack of communication between coworkers is staggering. Similarly, the job seeker often struggles with how to communicate their skills in a way that sets them apart.
Changing the way you communicate isn’t easy, but I do have three simple words to help you make this change easier: Repeat, Confirm and Clarify!
REPEAT what you thought you heard or ask those receiving the instructions to repeat what they heard. You might be surprised at how their understanding of what you said is actually quite off.
Secondly, CONFIRM the deadlines. Everyone must understand the expectation and urgency of the matter at hand. For example, job seekers should always confirm when they should expect to next connect after an interview. Say things like, “If I don’t hear from you by this date, can I follow up?” This keeps the process and line of communication moving.
Lastly, CLARIFY how to communicate back that the duty or task is done. Is a presentation in order? Will a phone call suffice? Find a tangible example of how this communication will take place.
A plan to Repeat, Confirm and Clarify may sound simple, but it can be a challenge if you’re in a rush to get back to a project or move on to the next one. It also gets more complicated the more people you have to communicate with.
So ask yourself if there’s evidence you might need to develop a better communication strategy. If so, take time and effort to truly be heard, simply starting with three simple words: Repeat, Confirm and Clarify.
Once you master this approach consistently, you’ll like the answer you get when asking, “Can you hear me now?!”
David Hults is the CEO of Activ8 Careers, a Career Coach, Author and Speaker. For more career tips, visit his blog, CareerStr8Talk.com, and website, activ8careers.com.
Bill Hall, a Walker School adjunct professor who teaches History of American Business, will appear on KMOV-TV again tonight at all or parts of the 4:00pm, 5:00pm and 6:00pm Channel 4 news program. His interview will cover today’s Primary Elections in Missouri.
The Walker School of Business & Technology Walker EDGE program hosted an internship fair for Webster students on Wednesday, February 17, in the East Academic Building, Commons Area. This opportunity enabled students to get their resumes in the hands of potential employers who want to hire Webster students as interns and featured companies from a variety of industries.
Participating in an internship allows students to gain practical experience and make valuable connections. Walker EDGE and Webster University’s Career Planning & Development Center have partnered with many multinational companies to develop internship opportunities for Walker students.
Keep an eye out for more opportunities.
The Webster University School of Business and Technology marketing program attended the 55th Annual Student Marketing Conference. The conference, sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the American Marketing Association, was held in St. Louis on February 19, 2016. The conference featured presentations by several regional marketing professionals who emphasized the knowledge and skills that graduating marketing students need to be successful in career positions in the marketing field. We are pleased to announce that Kelsey Meyer, a graduating marketing senior, was recognized as the Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student from Webster University for the 2015/16 academic year. This award was given for her superior academic achievements in the undergraduate marketing program at Webster University.
In addition to obtaining her BA in Marketing degree, she is now working full time in a marketing position with Jager Boston, a Clayton based brand development firm.
Attending the conference also were: Dr. David J. Brennan, Professor of Marketing, Dr. Eric Rhiney, Assistant Professor of Marketing, and Dr. Donna Cartwright, Adjunct Professor of Marketing and several Webster University seniors (Kelsey Meyer, Michael Dintleman, Taylor Robison, Ellen Fritschle, Matt Lang, Lucas Truong and Zach Pawlowski)
Joe Roberts, director of the entrepreneurship program and associate professor of management at Webster University’s Walker School of Business & Technology was recently quoted in the St. Louis Business Journal on how to acquire a commercial bank loan.
Bill Hall, a Walker School adjunct professor who teaches History of American Business, will appear on KMOV-TV4 on their early morning segment next Monday, February 22nd, at 5:00AM and 6:00AM to talk about the 2016 Presidential Primary Race. Please tune in for the interview.
In case you missed the interview, please click here to view the video on KMOV’s website.
GorlokJobs is Webster’s online career management system which you can use for many reasons, including your internship search! Offered by the Career Planning & Development Center, GorlokJobs enables you to search for and apply to openings, research employers and contacts, practice interviewing skills, review and RSVP to events, and more.
If you are searching for a summer internship, use GorlokJobs as one tool in your internship search strategy.
Access hundreds of internship and job postings from employers seeking Webster students by logging into your GorlokJobs account. To review current internship postings, select the “Job Postings” option beneath the “Jobs and Internships” tab along the left-hand side of your GorlokJobs homepage. On the next screen, hit “Internship/Co-op” to view internship opportunities to which you can apply. There are currently postings in the fields of marketing, financial services, information technology, social services, and more! Review each position description, determine how your interests and skills align with the opening, and follow application instructions to apply.
In addition, to internship postings, GorlokJobs also houses a Contact Directory. If you are looking for a person to reach out to regarding internship possibilities, search the Contact Directory and view names, titles, and contact information organized by company/organization.
For more information on internship searching, visit the Career Planning & Development Center website: http://www.webster.edu/career-services/ecareer-services/internship-and-job-search.html
If you need assistance logging into your GorlokJobs account, contact the Career Planning & Development Center at 314-968-6982 or visit at 568 Garden Ave. Walk-In Hours are designed for 10-15 minute conversations on: GorlokJobs, resume and cover letter review, interview preparation, internship and job search basics. Available Monday-Thursday from 2:00pm-5:00pm when undergraduate classes are in session.
Kevin Loving, a Computer Science and Political Science Major from Kirkwood, shared his Walker EDGE success story that included an internship with Maritz Motivation Solutions. Loving is a good student with a knack for IT who has made the most of his Webster opportunities. As part of the Walker EDGE program, he regularly attended events like the Walker Speaker Series, Industry Insight Nights and participated in activities such as mock interviews and the Walker EDGE Internship Fair. It was through an Internship Fair that Loving was recruited by Maritz for an unforgettable internship opportunity.
Loving’s pursued his Maritz internship through a series of emails, phone calls, and a formal interview before receiving an offer for a position. He began as a Business Analyst Intern in May of 2015. From the beginning, Loving benefited from a supervisor who was a supportive mentor. His mentor was always available to give advice and created an open atmosphere where Loving could work comfortably and grow. Loving described it having a “boss who wasn’t your boss” in the sense his mentor really was more of a mentor.
Loving described how his responsibilities evolved during his time at Maritz. He held three roles that supported efforts to improve the customer experience. First was analytical work where he predicted what new programs would look like and how they could be improved before release. The second was as a User Experience Designer. Loving described it as similar to graphic design and a back-and-forth creation process between managers. Third was in user research, which focused more on the “psychology” of the user. Loving studied the best business practices and the natural tendencies of the user in order to create the best customer experience possible.
One of the most impactful events of Loving’s internship was a lunch held by the executives at Maritz. The CEO and directors shared advice and experience with all of the interns. They described their individual careers and talked about the importance of continuous improvement in every aspect of their lives. Loving found the advice helpful and meaningful, but above all said it “made us feel like we belonged there.”
The Maritz internship experience left Loving with a fresh perspective and renewed career goals. His advice to students is: “you’re not limited to your major.” He encourages all students to seek opportunities like his because business is always evolving and companies are constantly looking for a fresh perspectives that students have to offer. Loving says that personality and good attitude are key to a fulfilling experience. Through hard work (and maybe some IT skills) he believes that every student can have a successful internship experience as well.
On Monday, January 25, 2016 Webster welcomed former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mike Fagan as the featured speaker for the fifth annual joint meeting of the Greater St. Louis Area Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and the Webster University Forensic Accounting program. Fagan’s presentation was titled Funding of Terrorism and Other Threats to Homeland Security.
Fagan spoke to a crowd of over one hundred, including ACFE members, Webster University students, faculty and other members of the community, about the funding of terrorism both in the United States and in other parts of the world. He discussed several sources of terrorism funding including the potential for online gambling as a growth area for such funding.
Fagan, who served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Missouri for twenty-five years and now consults on domestic and transnational criminal law and procedure, counterterrorism, intelligence, and emergency planning issues.
The Forensic Accounting program at Webster is the only program of its kind in the state of Missouri. Curriculum includes courses in criminal and civil investigation, legal procedure, forensic analytics, cyber forensics, substantive law, valuation, economic damages, internal auditing and risk management. For more information visit webster.edu/forensic-accounting.
Whether you’re out of a job or looking to advance your career, you might be tempted to start the search on big career search sites like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com.
But studies have shown that the published market (including the internet) contains only about 20% to 25% of open jobs. But why?
When a new position opens up, most employers undoubtedly look internally to see if there’s someone they trust to fill the position. If not, hiring managers and their teams look to people they know and trust outside of the organization to get the job done. They often do this before posting the position externally, so individuals who have connections get a head start. Sometimes there’s no competition at all because the “connected” candidate interview goes so well.
It’s then fair to assume that many advertised jobs are ones nobody really wants. And yet people continue to rely on the published market, sometimes exclusively, to find jobs.
The Hidden Job Market
The alternative is to look to the hidden job market – those positions that are never advertised, but are filled internally or through networking relationships. How do these jobs arise? The answer is in the following three problems, which hiring managers are almost constantly grappling with:
1) The underachiever. You know the type: bad attitude, comes in late, does shoddy work and people wonder how he keeps his job. Managers are well aware this person isn’t pulling their weight, but it’s not appropriate to fire him immediately. Often, the boss wants to line up a replacement before showing the underachiever the door.
2) The overachiever. This person’s great attitude, superior work and team player attitude doesn’t seem like a problem. But managers often lay awake at night worrying about overachievers. Why? Because they are too good for their current job. If the manager doesn’t promote the overachiever, they’ll go somewhere else. But the manager can’t promote the overachiever until they find a replacement – and they’ll look internally and to their network first.
3) New needs. Companies bring in new clients and projects all the time and often aren’t prepared to handle the demand upon winning the business. They need someone who can take charge and ramp up production – and they don’t have time to waste on an advertised job search.
How do you get into the hidden job market? How can you find out the needs or problems organizations are trying to solve today? And how will you position yourself as the solution? The answer is networking. All hiring managers are looking for good people, even if a position doesn’t exist. How will they know to call you first if you have never met?
As for the best way to network, that’s an article for another day. Until then, here are some links to blog posts I’ve written about networking that will get you started.